U of L announces expansion of campus security following incident - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L announces expansion of campus security following incidents over the summer

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville is stepping up security measures around its campuses, according to a letter sent to all faculty, staff and students Tuesday.

The University is expanding security in the wake of violent incidents that occurred over the summer, stating “any incident in which people are hurt is one too many.”

The announcement comes just a week after one violent incident near campus and another earlier in the summer near the dental school.

“If you look at some of the incidents that have occurred, really they've been more so on the fringe of campus, or off campus," dean of students Michael Mardis said.

Security additions will include an expansion of the shuttle service and its hours to include trips affiliated housing and off campus areas where students live. Student government and the University will also be identifying an “L-Trail” of safe walking areas that will be well-lit and patrolled by security officers.
U of L's Assistant Chief of Police says the permanent hires will patrol the Belknap campus and Health Sciences Center downtown.

"Where we want to concentrate is where we've had street crimes on the edge of campus where we've had victims robbed, some students robbed and someone forcefully takes something and that's what we want to concentrate our efforts on," Lt. Colonel Kenneth Brown explained.

The eight extra officers will cost roughly $300,000 dollars a year, money the university says it will find, without raising student tuition.

"Some students have already been tweeting about it and they appreciate the steps the university is taking to be proactive to address that," Mardis added. “Our main crime is still thefts."

"I feel more safe closer to the library in the middle of campus than near the outside of campus, cause I feel that's where crime happens," U of L senior Brianna James said.

The letter is re-printed in its entirety below:

Sept. 9, 2014

Students, faculty, staff and friends,

The safety of our community is of the highest priority. And while our crime statistics are relatively low compared to other universities, any incident in which people are hurt is one too many.

Effective immediately, we are hiring four additional police and four additional security officers to increase police patrolling around both our Belknap and Health Sciences Center campuses at night. As we implement this increased patrolling, we will hire prior-experienced or off-duty Louisville Metro police and authorize use of overtime work for our current officers. We will continue to evaluate our police force strength to enhance safety and security to our campus community.

Additionally, within the next two weeks we will expand our shuttle service and its hours to include trips from key campus locations to affiliated housing and some off-campus areas where students live. Student Government and the UofL Police Department are identifying “L-Trail” safe walking areas on our campuses that will be particularly well-lit and patrolled to enhance security along these routes.

The additional security personnel will help, and while we are implementing the shuttles and preferred walking routes, there are also things we need you to think about if you are on campus, especially at night:

  • Walk with a group of people, and if walking to a parking lot, do not the leave the area until everyone is safely in their vehicle. 
  • Remain alert and watchful for suspicious activity, especially two or more people just hanging around. 
  • If you sense something wrong, leave the area immediately. 
  • While in the residence halls, keep your security doors locked and don't allow strangers in your room. 
  • Finally, for any who are concerned about traveling at night, use our escort service that is available from our on-campus facilities to residences within four blocks of campus. Last year, we provided more than 7,000 escorts to students, faculty and staff. Simply call 852-6111 for an escort. The university already has increased our safety efforts. 
Following several incidents this summer, we stepped up security in several ways. UofL Police and LMPD increased patrols near both our campuses, particularly in areas where we saw increases in crime. University Hospital security increased its patrols around the Health Sciences Center. The Housing Office and The Grove hired security guards to patrol the housing corridor from The Grove to Cardinal Towne during late-night hours. We've encouraged some of our affiliated housing partners to hire security guards to patrol areas around their units.Those additional measures will continue.

Students and employees can help us by educating themselves on safety information, which we have provided and will continue to promote in the coming weeks. Just last week, we began distributing safety information through flyers on cars in our student parking lots. We are sharing these tips on door hangers throughout the residence halls. Our police have visited the businesses in Cardinal Towne and asked them to distribute this information to their customers as well.

Last month, the UofL Police Department began offering its annual safety training and will continue to meet with our students throughout the fall semester. In addition to student- and parent-oriented sessions at each summer Orientation program, UofL officers have met, or are scheduled to meet, with 20 different groups, including the students in each residence hall, by the end of next month.

And we have begun development of a new safety communication campaign that will utilize posters, flyers and other media, including electronic media, to convey safety information to our students.

We are seeing a spike in crime right now – much of it driven by the huge growth in heroin usage not only around our campus but throughout our community and the state -- and both the UofL Police Department and Louisville Metro Police are aggressively working to apprehend the criminals. We want to stress that many of the crimes are near, but not on, our campuses, and that safety has always been a priority. When people are hurt, or a number of incidents happen close together, we all need to proactively respond. That is what we have been doing and will continue to do.

So we will stay diligent in our efforts. And we're asking you to alert the UofL Police or LMPD to any suspicious activity. Working together, we can ensure a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff and guests.

If you have any other ideas, please send them to us at Cmoffice@louisville.edu and we will forward them to the appropriate office for consideration.

Thank you,

James Ramsey


Shirley Willihnganz

Executive Vice President and University Provost

David Dunn

Executive Vice President for Health Affairs

William Pierce

Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation

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